There are a lot of things that help you through life after college.
But, even with all of these things, you feel empty. Why do you still feel lackadaisical? What are you missing? Is it because Breaking Bad has ended?
Nope. Well, maybe a little. But it’s something way bigger than that.
It’s because you should be getting your hustle on. WHAT? Am I telling you to become Rick Ross?
Haha. Read on, player, read on.
I’m about to introduce you to the Rick Ross of twentysomething life. Yeah. This is a guy you should be listening to.
I’m talking about Danny Rubin, the man behind the blog News to Live By and the author of “9 Reasons Why Every Twentysomething Needs a Side-Hustle.”
Why should you listen to him? Well…
1. He’s relatable
Danny was confident that he wanted to be a reporter and got a Master’s in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Maryland College Park. But after a couple of years working as one, he found that though he loved parts of the job, it was in fact not for him. Yep, after all that, his dream career was no longer his dream.
Pretty relatable, don’t you think?
2. He practices what he preaches
Don’t you love it when someone tells you how to live your life and then completely disregards their own instructions?
Yeah, I don’t either.
It’s a good thing that Danny is not one of those people. He tells us to get a side hustle (and the benefits of having one) because he himself has one and has found those benefits to be true.
3. He knows what’s up
He knows that millennials are changing the way we interact with the news. We want it on our terms. We want it written our way. We want to know “What’s in it for me?” We want BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, and LifeHack. News to Live By is the intersection of all three. It’s a place for us to understand how the latest news stories can impact us personally, affect our careers, and (hopefully) keep us engaged.
4. He gives us examples we can relate to
As a part of the millennial generation, he understands the limits of our attention spans. Hit us with a bunch of names we don’t recognize and vague concepts we’re unfamiliar with and we’re tuning you out faster than you can say attention deficit. That’s why he creates posts like “The Reason Why You Can’t Stop Singing Taylor Swift Songs,” to give us something we can totally relate to while providing specific examples of what we can do to improve our writing skills.
5. He’s not gonna shove his political views down your throat
He’s writing about current news? Does this mean he’s going to go on some long rant about Republicans vs. Democrats? Is this going to be a Danny Rubin Tea Party? No. He is a firm believer that topics worth discussing don’t have to be political. His audience is every young person. If he gets two new Twitter followers and one spends his days reading the Communist Manifesto and the other TiVos Bill O’Reilly, he knows that he’s doing his job right.
6. He’s up for the challenge
As a local news reporter Danny had a strict 5 p.m. deadline. Whether he had a story by 1 p.m. or not was irrelevant. Come 5 o’clock that news truck was pulling up and he’d have to have something to say.
With that training, he’s prepared for the kind of blog that he’s set up. His topics have to stem from current events and be relevant for his audience. When there was all that hoopla over Ted Cruz, he was right there and ready to discover what the takeaway for his readers could be. Thus, “Are You ‘That Guy’ at Work? Take the Ted Cruz Challenge and Find Out!”
So what advice does he have for us twentysomethings?
For Life in General:
Treat every day of your life as a Master’s degree
In his post titled “How to Treat Every Day of Your Life as a Master’s Degree,” he says that we must become our own TAs, professors, and deans. We have to be in charge of continuing our education. As twentysomethings we must be sponges and willing to learn the skills that are required of us. We can’t just stop (or “drop out” as he puts it) because we think we’ve learned all there is to learn.
Instead of thinking of his degree in broadcast journalism as useless after he chose to leave that profession, he has continued to improve and build upon the skills that it provided him with. “Everything comes down to writing,” he explains, “there’s even good writing behind commercials.” Since graduating, he now refers to his graduate degree as a Master’s of Communication. He is constantly working to better his critical thinking, headlines, and interviewing skills. A year into News to Live By, and 200 posts later, he can see the improvement in each of these elements.
But it’s not just about improving the skill set you already have.
Living your life as a continuation of your education also means challenging yourself in new ways. Always be on top of your industry. What skills would help you to not only do your job well, but to be ahead of the game? There are constant opportunities to learn at your job or with your side hustle. It all comes down to whether you choose to take advantage of them or not.
Danny says that he knows quite a few people who have been out in the workforce for a while and are thinking about going back to school. Although he supports a continued formal education, he also feels the urge to ask them to stop and reflect on what they’ve been learning (or could learn) just by being out in the workforce. It can be hard to see how far your education has gone without the label of the degree. But, if you’re focused on learning and challenging yourself every day, then you have been furthering your education all along.
Get a “real” job along with a side hustle
In any industry when you’re just starting out it usually takes at least two years before you start seeing any measurable results. Though it can be hard to do two things at the same time, it can also keep you sane. The truth is, you probably won’t get your dream job right out of college. Having a side hustle will allow you to experiment with something you’re interested in without the pressure to bring in money.
You just have to get started. Get to work. Create. When Danny writes for his website, he wants his content to be the best that it can be. It is not enough to be flashy with a lot of bells and whistles. All of his effort has to go into a post in order for it to be a quality article. It’s a labor of love.
Put yourself out there
But then he’s done, right? He spent every extra minute he had working on his content. It’s great! It’s fabulous! It’s the best thing that’s ever been written! It’s going to go viral any second.
Opportunities will not come if you’re just sitting there waiting. You have to bring them to you. It can be little scary, but when you think about it, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s always worth it to research and reach out to someone, because you can never tell what will happen.
After all, that’s how this post came about. We re-tweeted him and he reached out to us asking if there was any way in which we could work together and… voilà!
Make your contacts more than just someone you send submissions to
Danny knows that he doesn’t want his professional relationships to be robotic. Sure, he wants them to publish his work, but he also wants it to be a friendly and lasting partnership between the two of them. He is always sure to have a conversation first and genuinely care about what/how the other person is doing. It’s nice to have a good back-and-forth before jumping in to what one can do for the other.
Be reliable, punctual, and accommodating
When it comes to networking, these qualities may be the most important ones to have. Even if you can talk to a wall, it’s not going to help you unless that wall wants to start talking back.
Danny makes sure to keep close tabs on his email and phone. Getting back to people in a reasonable amount of time makes a bigger difference than you might think. No one likes to be kept waiting. Showing that you care enough to respect someone’s time will set you apart. Who would you rather help or share opportunities with? Someone who responds to you months later with an email subject line that says “I forgot to write my post so I’m starting it now”? OR someone who responds the same day and works hard to get you their work as soon as possible without jeopardizing its quality?
When reaching out to someone, Danny knows that people can be wary, especially if they’ve never heard of you before. He makes sure that he states how he came across their site and provides a link to one of his posts so that he can give some legitimacy to his work. Now that he has been doing this for a while he can add a small note about which other sites have published his work. Because he is aware of how busy these people are, he has worked hard to perfect this elevator pitch so that it is short and precise while still providing the person receiving it with the information they need.
He treats every site he reaches out to as a client. What can he do for them? He makes sure to explain how his work relates to their audience. Since he is the one reaching out, Danny keeps his emails open-ended. He knows that it is not for him to dictate how the relationship will work.
Danny knows what it’s like to be a twentysomething. He thinks it’s important that our generation understands what is happening in the world, but also knows that we have a different way of digesting information. Using his skills as a journalist and his comprehension of his fellow millennials he has created News to Live By while also working full-time as an Account Manager at a PR firm. He may not look or act like Rick Ross, but they certainly do have one thing in common: EVERY day they’re hustling.
“A huge part about being in your twenties is getting out there and being pushed around and making mistakes. Just make sure you don’t make them again.” – Danny Rubin.
Homework time! If you haven’t already, check out Danny Rubin’s blog News to Live By. Then take a step back and look at your life. Do you have a side hustle? If not, start brainstorming what you’d like yours to be. How do (or will) you feel after graduating from college? Challenge yourself to make each day a part of your Master’s degree. Write out a list of skills you’d like to learn and set up a “class” schedule for yourself.